hello, and welcome back to "newsline." i'm shery ahn. let's get started with the headlines. ukrainian authorities say pro-russian separatists shot down a malaysia airlines plane with 298 people on board. fighting between israeli troops and members of the islamic group hamas has intensified after israeli leaders order a ground invasion. and the u.n. security council has condemned north korea again for firing ballistic
missiles towards the sea of japan. ukrainian authorities and pro-russian separatists blame each other for malaysia airlines plane crash. flight mh-17 went down in eastern ukraine with 298 on board. kiev says the plane was hit with a surface-to-air missile launched by pro-russian separatists, but the separatists say it was ukraine's fault. nhk world's koran rotanga reports. >> reporter: "associated press" released video believed to have been shot near the crash site, an explosion, then a plume of black smoke. debris is scattered over a large area. search-and-rescue crews are now combing through the crash site. malaysia airlines officials say the boeing 777 was carrying 283 passengers and 15 crew members. flight mh-17 left amsterdam shortly after noon local time on
thursday headed for kuala lumpur. the crash occurred in the eastern ukrainian region of donetsk, near the russian border. ukrainian president petro poroshenko says pro-russian separatists are responsible for bringing the plane down. >> translator: this plane was brought down. it's not an accident, not a catastrophe, but a terrorist act. >> reporter: ukraine's state security chief said intercepted telephone conversations between russian military officers and pro-russian militants prove their involvement. >> reporter: but the leader of the self-proclaimed people's republic of donetsk says the group had nothing to do with the
crash. >> translator: a passenger aircraft has been shot down, shot down by the ukrainian air force. to tell the truth, it is a provocation on purpose. >> reporter: ukrainian government leaders say they'll investigate with the international civil aviation organization, but interfax says pro-russian militants have already taken away the plane's flight and data recorders. analysts now question whether or not pro-russian militant groups will cooperate with the investigation to help uncover the truth behind this tragedy. kurando tago, nhk world. >> that malaysian airlines flight was supposed to arrive at kuala lumpur international airport. nhk world's shoko matsumoto is there now. shoko, what's the latest? >> reporter: family members and friends of the flight's passengers rushed to the airport, but they seemed frustrated by the small amount
of information released so far. >> i don't really think anything for us. i've been calling many times, but, you know, they asked me to they would let me now. and so now, i don't have any message from them. >> reporter: malaysian prime minister razak held a news conference near the airport on friday. he promised his utmost efforts to determine the cause of the crash. >> if it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must quickly be brought to justice. >> reporter: malaysia airlines was hit by another tragedy earlier this year. in march, one of its airliners carrying 239 passengers and crew members disappeared en route from kuala lumpur to beijing. the aircraft remains missing.
the prime minister najib says it's been a tragic day for malaysia. the latest incident involving malaysia airlines is sending another shock wave across the country. shoko matsumoto, nhk world, kuala lumpur. >> all right, shoko. thanks for that. now, military analysts are busy trying to figure out exactly what happened. we spoke with bonji ohara, a security analyst and former navy captain with japan's self-defense forces. he says russia's buk surface-to-air missiles are capable of causing such an accident. >> translator: the buk missile has a range of 30 kilometers and can hit an object 22 kilometers in the air. aircraft flying at 10,000 meters are easily within range. i believe the former soviet republics were equipped with the missile. i can't deny the possibility that russia has provided such weapons to pro-russian
separatists. >> he thinks there is a good possibility that the attack was the result of a misfire. ukraine's president says pro-russian militants have shot down two of his country's military planes recently. >> translator: government forces can distinguish civilian jets and even identity individual aircraft. i think the culprit fired the missile without proper information and just relied on radar to track it. i don't see any merit of government forces in either russia or ukraine attacking a civilian jet. >> ohara also points out that the tragedy will have an impact on how the international community addresses the situation in ukraine. >> translator: i think russian leaders will react promptly to this incident, since the international community will have greater concerns about an
accident with such a large number of casualties. i think russia will put pressure on the pro-russian militants and that the u.s. will do the same with officials in kiev. the point is how much influence the two big powers have and whether the ukrainian government and pro-russian forces can find common ground. i think these discussions will take place behind the scenes. >> ohara says cooperation between the big powers is essential to prevent another such attack from occurring. u.n. security council members will meet face to face on friday for an emergency meeting. secretary-general ban ki-moon is calling for answers about what caused the crash. >> there is a clearer need for a full and transparent international investigation. >> ban says he's closely monitoring the situation along with officials at the international civil aviation organization.
israeli soldiers are fi fighting their way through parts of the gaza strip in an operation against the islamic group hamas. their ground invasion into the palestinian territory has already come with a cost. reuters news agency says one israeli soldier and 11 palestinians have died. nhk world's craig dale is covering the story for us. >> well, many people expected this ground invasion would increase the number of civilian casualties in this 11-day -- or casualties in this 11-day-old conflict, the last time israeli soldiers went into gaza, back in 2009, hundreds of palestinians died. now, so far, we've seen explosions and heard gunfire or the thud of tank shells. nhk's team in gaza has reported hearing the sound of severe fighting coming from the east. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu and his security cabinet ordered this invasion. they say they're trying to stop fighters with hamas and its
allies from infill rating israel via tunnels. netanyahu said they already worked into the country but the attack was stopped. israelis have destroyed part of the underground network. soldiers are continuing the work. the prime minister briefed secretary of state john kerry about the ground invasion. kerry asked netanyahu to ensure the operation is precise and focused on those tunnels and to do more to prevent civilian casualties. now, the ground operation follows a five-hour humanitarian truce in gaza which allowed much-needed supplies to get into the territory. the israelis actually said hamas broke that truce and they blame hamas for letting another cease-fire deal, one proposed by egypt earlier this week, they blame hamas for rejecting that and not letting that continue. >> hamas closed the door to that opportunity. they closed the door to a cease-fire. and in so doing, they have made a decision that they want conflict.
>> hamas spokesperson say this ground invasion into gaza is "a dangerous step," and they say israel will pay a high price. hamas has fired hundreds of rockets at tel aviv and other locations over the past week and a half. its leaders say they won't accept a cease-fire that doesn't include an easing of israel's punishing economic blockade of gaza. they also want the israelis to release imprisoned hamas members. for its part, the israeli military has carried out hundreds of air strikes to try to destroy hamas's command centers, rocket launchers and those tunnels i was talking about. those cross-border attacks have killed more than 230 palestinians and 1 israeli. israeli commanders have already beefed up their ranks with 40,000 reserve troops, and they've drafted nearly 20,000 more. and they say they will hit hamas hard and continue to do so, although a military spokesperson says israel doesn't want to topple the islamic group, which has controlled gaza since 2006.
north korea is scheduled to join a sports tournament in south korea later this year, but pyongyang appears to be having second thoughts. officials of the two countries met thursday at the border village of panmunjom to discuss the asian games. the north korean delegates said they would send 700 athletes and cheerleaders. that would have made it the largest delegation from north korea ever to join an international tournament. but the talks broke down when the north korean delegates walked out in protest of south korea's stance. north korea's official korean central news agency reports that south korea made comments about the cost of hosting the north's athletes. the news agency reports that the south argued over the planned size of the north's delegation. the agency says north korean
delegates told the south they may reconsider its participation. sources say north korea may be bargaining for better conditions for its athletes. the u.n. security council has called on north korea to comply with its resolutions not to fire any more ballistic missiles. it's condemned the country for carrying out three rounds of missile tests between late june and early july. the council members held an informal meeting on thursday. south korean officials have requested it. in a statement, the council president criticized the north. >> the members of the security council condemn these launches as violations of security council resolutions and urged the dprk to fully comply with the relevant security council resolution. >> the council issued a similar statement in march after north korea conducted other ballistic missile launches.
to the latest in business now. housing prices are coming down in more chinese cities. prices fell at nearly 80% of major cities in june. that fueled concern that the decline could pose downside risks to the country's economy. china's national bureau of statistics says new home prices rose only in 8 of the 70 cities surveyed. that's down from 15 in may. in contrast, 55 cities reported declines compared with 35 in the previous month. that was the biggest number since comparable data became available in 2011. cities showing falling prices out-numbered those with increases for two straight months. prices in the southern city of gang guangzhou spli0.6%, shangh 0.7%. the chinese government came up last year with a series of steps to curb excessive home price gains. officials say the recent developments will help achieve healthy economic growth over the long term.
market sources point out that a prolonged price downtrend could hurt local governments as well as financial institutions. all right, on to the markets now. rising geopolitical tensions in the gaza strip and ukraine have jolted the financial markets. investors in asia were spooked in early trading. here's how benchmark indexes across the region have finished out the day. analysts say many market players seem to think that the impact from these latest developments would be rather limited. tokyo's nikkei average ended 1% lower, 15,215, after falling as much as 1.7% during the day. a stronger yen pushed down a wide range of shares, including export-related issues. and in malaysia, the key index there seeing declines today of 0.5%. 1,872. shares of malaysian airlines plunged nearly 16% at one stage. the passenger jet crash put more pressure on the firm after one of its planes went missing earlier this year.
china's shanghai composite rose nearly 0.2%, 2,059. shares of property developers were among the major gainers. investors were hopeful that local governments may further ease controls over house-buying, given the recent decline in home prices. finance leaders in south korea are trying to put their economy back on track. they're wrestling with a strong currency after sluggish consumer spending. new finance minister chae queue kwon has made hit his mission t turn things around. we asked him how he expects the finance minister will be tackling these issues. kim teaches economics. >> korea's consumer spending sharply dropped after the ferry disaster in april. korean people canceled trips and social events and other international programs. they even refrained from drinking for two months. so, the government has lowered
this year's growth forecast from 4% down to 3.8%. regarding a stronger yuan currency, the new minister would not directly intervene in the foreign exchange market, but he would encourage more imports of capital equipment abroad in advance. regarding the stimulation policy, it seems that the finance minister wishes to emulate japan's three arrows policy by implementing monetary and fiscal policy with structural reforms. the finance minister's stimulation policy is on the right track, but he may confront some criticisms because his policy will inevitably create some bubbles. the bank of korea governor often runs into a dilemma situation. a high interest rate discourages investment, but it makes the wealthy people happier. a lower interest rate, however, can stimulate the economy and
reduces the household's debt burden. also, the bank of korea governor takes into account that a higher interest rate makes the yuan stronger with capital inflows. if the minister and the governor both agree on the severity of the economic recession, the governor can lower the interest rate with little hesitation. at the july monetary board meeting, the governor decided not to change its benchmark interest rate. nevertheless, he made a remark that he and the finance minister share the same opinion that the economy is seriously sagging. he may lower the interest rate next time, but i do not know exactly the magnitude of the rate cut and its timing. i think it's going to have a hard time in deciding on it, even at the next meeting. well, the japanese government is set to resume official development assistance to vietnam following a brief period of suspension. japan halted new oda projects
for vietnam in june. it took the step after officials of the state-owned vietnam railways were found to have received kickbacks from a consulting firm in tokyo. the company and its executives have been indicted for allegedly bribing the vietnamese officials, but japanese government officials now say they will restart procedures to approve new projects. this is because vietnam has put antibribery measures together. these measures are designed to make bidding processes more transparent and strengthen penalties for violations. japanese officials say they will meet their vietnamese counterparts twice a year to check if the steps to prevent bribery cases are being implemented. japanese leaders had visions of balancing the budget within a few years. they had hoped to achieve what's known as a primary surplus by fiscal 2020, but officials at the cabinet office say that does not look likely. a surplus suggests the government takes in more than it
spends, excluding interest arraignments on the debt. officials looked at a scenario where the economy keeps growing and the consumption tax goes up next year to 10%. well, they say even then, the primary balance in 2020 would sink to a deficit of more than $100 billion. tax revenue in the last fiscal year beat estimates by about $16 billion. still, the primary balance hit a deficit of $230 billion. the people at japanese mobile phone firm softbank see the united states as their next step in their global expansion, and they've tapped a senior executive from one of america's biggest i.t. firms to help them out. they've hired nikesh arora away from google to boost their profile. arora served as google's chief business officer. he'll be joining softbank in october as vice chairman. he'll also serve as the top executive of a new firm softbank will set up in the united states. softbank has been trying to take over wireless carrier t-mobile. it's the fourth biggest operator in the u.s. arora once worked at a firm within the t-mobile group.
softbank ceo masayoshi son says arora is the best person for the job. and executives at u.s. i.t. giant microsoft are preparing to make the biggest layoff in their country's history. they plan to eliminate up to 18,000 jobs. that's 14% of their workforce. the executives say they're thinking of slashing those positions over the next 12 months. they plan to make most of the cuts to the nokia mobile business. they just acquired that business in april. ceo satya nadella conducted a review of microsoft's reliance on its mainstay product, the windows operating system. he said he wants to focus more on tablet devices as well as cloud computing services. nadella told staff that the shift will be difficult, but he said microsoft has to evolve in order to survive. all right, that is going to do it for biz this hour. let's check in on the markets.
nearly 300 meters off the ground. they enjoyed the dance and the magnificent beauty of the city at sunset. ♪ >> the building was fully opened to the public this past march. its managers say they plan to hold more of these events for the local community. let's now bring in our meteorologist, robert speta, for a check of the weather. robert, that typhoon that hit the philippines this week now headed towards china. what should people there expect? >> yes, shery, out here into northern portions of hainan, in southern portions of guangdong, at this time, should be expecting very gusty winds.
we have seen this storm system already come on shore out here. about 40,000 people have been told to evacuate ahead of it. anybody that is currently being impacted by this, especially in northern hainan, a large city of about 830,000 people in haikou there at this time are definitely seeing typhoon-strength winds, 140 kilometers per hour, likely much higher than that. gusts are estimated around the center of circulation to be 230 to 235 kilometers per hour. this could cause widespread power outages, flying debris as well, and not just that, but also the heavy rainfall. this is the latest visible satellite imagery. a really circular eye forms in here, and that is clear and indicative of a strengthening and a very strong typhoon. so, we really want to watch closely on this one. it is still expected to track off here towards the northwest across southern guangdong, pushing into northern vietnam, bringing some gusty winds out here but also heavy rainfall. now, by the time this makes its way towards vietnam, i think this is going to be more of a rain situation.
we could see some areas as much as 300 to 400 millimeters, even in the hanoi, you're going to be seeing some tropical storm-strength winds, but flooding in low-lying areas is definitely a big risk. this is definitely the story to watch out here across the tropics, but i do want to turn our attentions over here towards the east, because another storm system forming up. and the big thing with this one, the philippines. upwards of about 38 deaths at this time have been reported out here. you don't need any more rainfall, but we have another tropical storm that could enhance the monsoon. it may not have a direct impact, but it could bring showers out here inadvertently, and eventually, this could track off towards the north. we want to keep a close eye this through the coming days. so, the tropics, a lot going on here. i do also want to talk about japan, because a few areas we are seeing some strong thunderstorms. actually, in ibaraki prefecture, one report about 46 millimeters in an hour period of heavy showers here. some of these storms could produce frequent lightning and strong wind gusts as well, especially through friday
afternoon into the evening hours. even saturday afternoon those isolated storms will start to erupt. so, saturday, tokyo, 29 for your high, those showers there already to be expected. back towards the west, mentioning hong kong as well. you're not being directly impacted by rammasun out here, but you still are going to be looking at gusty winds and even heavy showers there, especially by saturday morning. let's turn our attentions into the americas now. actually we have some video to start out with out of valley view in texas, where you have been seeing the heavy rainfall, and this has been the cause for concern. it caused flooding here on thursday. one city reported 250 millimeters of rainfall through the overnight period, and at least eight people had to be rescued from their vehicles after quickly rising water levels out here. so, the good news for that location, the storm system's pulling off here towards the east, but you're still expecting some 120, 140 millimeters of rainfall in parts of louisiana, mississippi as well, so flash flooding still a concern there for you. in the northwest, very dry out here.
fire weather is going to be a big problem. at least the temperatures are starting to cool off compared to earlier this week, only into the 20s. now, i'm going to be talking a little bit more on this later on, but you have been seeing the heat here in the iberian peninsula and over towards the british isles. we have a change in the forecast through the weekend, some showers are going to push in and drop your temperatures off by saturday. here's your extended outlook.
>> we will start in the middle east. israel has gotten its first casualty since it launched its official into gaza thursday. a soldier has been killed. circumstances are still being investigated. hamas militants claim to have ambushed an israeli unit in the north of the strip. israeli military says it has killed 14 militants after a night of heavy bombardment but also saw civilians caught in the crossfire. israeli prime mr. benjamin netanyahu has